It’s always the smartest person who does the best—sometimes the person that brings out the best in others is just looking for a free ride.
You know those people, the ones who are proficient at their jobs but, if you were being completely honest, are no rock stars. Yet, somehow, they always seem to get promoted—and it irks you because you know you’re better at the job than they are. Well, I am one of those guys. If you want know my secret, let me share with you. Assholes promote other assholes. If your boss is complete a asshole like me and you want to curry favour, then be like him and kiss the ass of the asshole.
Let’s face it: being a boss is just another term for being the overlord of those beneath you. You are a king and they are your servants. In the sage words of Machiavelli, rulers don’t need to be loved, they need to be feared and respected. Imagine your office is a slave plantation — is your top priority that your slaves like you or that they fear you? I think you know the answer. Being likeable is a seriously liability, one that we all need to decrease at all costs. So, here are some tips to ensure you are disliked by all.
- Never listen
Listening is like a superpower, and people who are likeable tend to intuitively understand this. So, make sure you go out of your way not to listen. Make sure it’s obvious that you don’t have time to listen to what others have to say. Interrupt and talk over people with your loud domineering voice. Take calls in the middle of a conversation and just walk away. Take, for example, the best salespeople. They do not do that much talking; they do a lot of listening. But, guess what? You’re not in sales! You’re in management. Remember that those people are beneath you for a reason, a big part of which is that you are their intellectual superior. They listen to you; you don’t listen to them. Unless they are telling you how amazing you are, there is nothing worth hearing from their drab mouths.
- Ask less.
This is perhaps the best human engagement tool ever — the magic question, “What do you think?” These are four simple words that can transform dislike into like. So, never ask a subordinate what they think; it’s a sign of weakness and a sign that you might give a shit when it’s your job not to. Tell them what to do. How they think or feel about it is irrelevant. Of course, when it all goes pear shaped, you can then complain that no one spoke up and said anything. It’s a win/win management practice.
- Acknowledge no one.
Do not underestimate the power of acknowledgement. A compliment (that you mean, not that you fake), a thank you or a job well done can increase your likability instantly and that cannot happen. Humans are constantly fishing for compliments or praise. Just because some guy has been working 80 hours a week in order to oversee a product launch and missed not only the birth of his new-born daughter, but also his mother’s funeral doesn’t mean that you have to say anything other than, “What Peter, you still haven’t finished?” It sounds so simple, and yet we often get too busy to remember to keep finding fault in what others do. If you look hard enough you’ll always find something to moan about or criticize. If you do this often enough, you can throw them a few crumbs every now and then that will seem all the more amazing when compared with your usual demeaning remarks. If you get wind that the staff is planning to kidnap you and throw you off a cliff, then you know you have done your job well.
Being an asshole might not be something you can earn a degree in, but it certainly is something that can get you ahead in the workplace. Understand that the job you do is not only about the results you deliver, but also the way you make other people feel who work with you along the way. The worse they feel, the better you feel. Fear and desperation have been proven to be the best qualities to nurture in order to get the most from your serfs. So, start to learn to like being disliked. I have and I have never been happier.